OSCEOLA MILLS, CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — When Christmas comes around, Allen Smith goes all out by dressing as Santa Claus to spread joy to others.
“I mean who doesn’t love Santa Claus,” Smith said. “I don’t care how old you are. The minute they see me they are going to smile and I love it. That’s what drives me is that smile and that happiness.”
His red suit wasn’t cheap, but the smiles he brings are priceless.
“I got a brand new suit this year,” Smith said. “It was $390. I altered it to my specifications so there is no other Santa suit in the world like this one.”
Smith even got his wife involved. She dresses as Mrs. Claus.
“He’s head over heels and you know, I love the man,” Gina explained. “This is what makes him happy.”
Smith started this tradition after losing his uncle seven years ago.
“My uncle passed away right before Thanksgiving,” Smith explained. “The holidays were not the same so I went and bought a cheap Santa suit and delivered everybody Christmas presents on Christmas Eve.”
The holidays for Smith aren’t easy. He first lost his uncle, then his mom and then his 23-year-old son Garrett, who passed away unexpectedly two years ago after being stung by a bee at work.
“As they unplugged him I sat there and sang the daddy song to him,” Smith said with tears in his eyes. “It was George Strait’s ‘Love Without End, Amen.’ That’s what I sang to him every night when I put him to bed when he was a baby and I sang that to him as he died. So yeah, losing my kid definitely bums me out. All the love that I get from the other kids, that keeps my heart full for the rest of the year.”
To help Smith through his grief, he makes others happy. It refills his heart with joy.
“It’s the joy I get from all the kids that I don’t get from my own son anymore because he is not here that helps me get through February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, and October,” Smith explained.
Throughout the holiday season, he visits with kids, helps others in need and delivers gifts in his son’s truck, which he hopes to one day paint red and turn into a Santa mobile.
He wants to spread the message that it is important to care for others no matter our differences.
“There are good things going on in the world,” Smith explained. “People just choose not to see it.”
This Christmas season we can all learn a lot from Smith. The best gift you can give is one that comes at no price.
“I don’t care who you are, five minutes of pure joy can out last months of bad things,” Smith said.
Be kind, spread happiness and trust that there is always hope.
“My legacy can’t live on through my son anymore,” Smith said. “So the photos that I have with families, the feelings that I give them during Christmas and everything, that is going to be my legacy when I am not here.”
This year Smith got so many requests that he and his wife opened up their garage for kids to come and see him.
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